Google Play Services 3.2 Update Brings Performance Boosts

Google just finished rolling out its Google Play Services 3.2 update, affecting anyone who uses a device running Android 2.2 Froyo or later. The app listing is easy enough to find but updates are typically ignored. Not this time around. In fact, the 3.2 boost comes with power saving and performance enhancements that make this update downright noteworthy.

Some of the more notable things in this update include tweaks to the Location Based Services. Specifically, maps, Google+, PhotoSphere, and InstantBuy. Developers can now work with the Fused Location Provider, which makes it possible for devices to deal with more than one location update at a time by entering into a low-power mode. It also allows for mock locations for more complete app testing. Battery life improvements are also expected for devices that support hardware-based GPS geofencing thanks to geofencing API updates. Nexus 4, we're looking at you.

Another included update is called Snapshot. Within the maps API, users can get a bitmap image of the map they're currently looking at in order to improve performance of the app. Basically, whenever you don't need an interactive map, it'll switch over to the Snapshot mode to speed up your device. Features have also been added for Google+ sign-ins on apps.

Photo Sphere also saw a new compass mode that lets you look through images simply by moving your device. InstantBuy has better latency now, too. A lot of these updates are great news for developers but they should improve performance and the overall experience for the end user as well.